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More KC 69 Now Online
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 13, 2012

You can now nab yourself two vintage bits of Crimso history via DGMLive. First up is the historic Hyde Park gig which helped bring the band to much wider world, and their next-day gig at the Marquee from their legendary run at the London club. Please note both of these gigs (with bonus tracks) are available as part of the King Crimson Collectors' Club series via the mail order shop.

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King Crimson At Work And Play
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 11, 2014
Taken from last night's Facebook update by Trev Wilkins

This is part of Robert's office. Today I set up a Korg MIDI controller keyboard patched via an IK Multimedia iRig Pro to his iPad. We have an app called Thumb Jam on the iPad and I've programmed the keyboard pads to send Program Change messages to select each sound required, Mellotron at the moment. This is routed into the Axe FX via a Tascam line mixer and its FX loop return block. Routing this way means we can send the sounds directly into his rig 'at the top' giving great flexibility.

After the excellent rehearsal (those drummers are so good and great things from Mel) we spent some time working on the guitar sounds and updating our previous user presets.

Tomorrow we have photographer Scarlet Page coming to tale some band photos so the band will all be in Sunday best!

Afterwards some of the time took themselves to a local hostelry for a well deserved meal and chinwag.

Here's a shot posted by Gavin on his Facebook page. He writes "King Crimson full band rehearsals !!! In a much bigger room this time. Lots of good stuff happening."

New Date Added To King Crimson Tour
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jun 10, 2014
Due to demand an extra concert has been added to King Crimson’s run of dates at the Best Buy theatre in New York.

The additional gig takes place on Sunday 21st September. Please note that the tickets for this show will go on sale Friday 13th at 12.00 EDT.

Who says Friday 13th has to be unlucky?

The revised tour dates are as follows

Tue 9 Sep      Albany,    NY The Egg
Wed 10 Sep  Albany, NY The Egg
Fri 12 Sep Philadelphia, PA Verizon Hall
Sat 13 Sep Philadelphia, PA Verizon Hall
Mon 15 Sep Boston, MA Colonial Theatre
Tue 16 Sep Boston, MA Colonial Theatre
Thu 18 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Fri 19 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Sat 20 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Sun 21 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Tue 23 Sep Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
Thu 25 Sep Chicago, IL The Vic Theatre
Fri 26 Sep Chicago, IL The Vic Theatre
Tue 30 Sep Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre
Wed 01 Oct Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre
Fri 03 Oct San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Sat 04 Oct San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Mon 06 Oct Seattle, WA Moore Theater

The Return Of The Savage Seven
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jun 10, 2014
Rocking the Dunhill tie look at yesterday's rehearsals in Elstree, the Old Goat himself...

The Old Goat's rig...

Bill and Mel embody The First King Crimson Principle:Enjoyment is encouraged.....

Much talking...

Much singing...

As well as drumming, Bill is playing the M-Tron...

There's a six second tease of Bill drumming over on Robert's Facebook page. Name that tune?

This App Wounds Time
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jun 10, 2014
The enigmatic phrase 'This night wounds time' which adorns the back sleeve of King Crimson's Starless And Bible Black originates from the vivid imagination of cover artist Tom Phillips.

The illustration on SABB is itself modified from page 222 of Phillips' treated Victorian novel A Humument, first published in 1970.

The original edition of the entire graphic work can be seen here. The very latest edition is available as an app for iPad and iPhone. It's a must-have item for fans of Phillips' work. You can read my take on the app over on the blog

Dispatches From The Front Line & Back Line
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 9, 2014
King Crimson's rehearsals continue this week. Here's some pix from yesterday's session...

The calm before the storm...

Here's that front line...

and the back line...

and the view from Pat Mastelotto...

Also on Robert's Facebook page he's posted a five second clip of the three drummers in action.

On This Date 42 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 9, 2014
The first live King Crimson album, Earthbound was released in 1972.

In April the UK music press reported that Fripp was sifting through tapes for 'a live in the USA release', suggesting ominously that the resulting release would be “almost certainly the last from the band”. Truth be told this wasn’t much of a rumour as that incarnation of King Crimson had already announced it was splitting in January but there was real doubt in the air as to whether Fripp would keep the name going in some shape or form. 

At the time a press report had teamed Fripp and Jon Hiseman (along with bassist Mark Clarke) as a likely trio to emerge phoenix-like from Crimso’s ashes, as Mel, Boz and Ian continued to tour in the States with Alexis Korner and Peter Thorup as Snape.

Historically Earthbound has drawn flack over the years for the distorted lo-fi quality of its sound - indeed Atlantic Records refused to release it because of their concerns at the rough sounding quality. However, at the time, released on Island Records’ budget HELP label for £1.35 (that’s equivalent to over £15 in today’s money), reviewers took a rather upbeat tone in addressing the album’s qualities sonic and otherwise.

“King’s last fling” was the Melody Maker’s headline and Richard Williams, with typical perception said “The impression you get is that the band is like a catherine wheel: bright and flashing but ephemeral and held together only by centrifugal force...the rough sound quality serves to add an extra dimension of immediacy which many have found lacking in Crimson’s oh-so-carefully constructed studio albums...what we have here, essentially, is a blowing album...”

Under the banner “THE LAST CRIMSON, Tony Tyler at the NME wrote “This is very possibly the last King Crimson album and, as Fripp’s already done everything in the studio that could be done with this band, it’s fitting that Earthbound should be live...The main recommendation of this record is to Crimso heads who’ve never acquired the earlier stuff. The very existence of Earthbound is a subtle comment on the entire Crimso thing, and it encapsulates past and recent past pretty well. It’s good value and it shows why King Crimson have a part in musical history. It should be bought.”

Upon its release the album sold well and found itself in the unlikely company in the Mid-Price album charts, gaining the No.1 spot over the likes of Jim Reeves, Mantovani and the Pipes And Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Until the establishment of the King Crimson Collectors’ Club in 1998 (and later with DGMLive), the reputation of the Islands-era line-up rested on one studio album and the unwieldy density of Earthbound. Following the issuing of numerous live recordings through the Club, a more balanced assessment of the group has been possible (see 2002's Ladies Of The Road 2-disc compilation).

In his sleevenotes to the Live At Jacksonville 1972 KCCC release, Fripp wrote: "Improvisation has played an important, even critical role, in all Crims.  This live Crimson was more a jamming than improvising outfit."  Wallace takes umbrage at this description, which implicitly downgrades the band.  Responding to the criticism in his notes for the KCCC release Live At Summit Studios, Ian Wallace argued: "I think we improvised rather well, improvisation being the creation of a fresh vocabulary of notes and tones over a previously constructed format.  Just like jazz musicians would play the 'head' of a standard and then solo around the chord sequence." 

While undoubtedly appearing brutish and crude in comparison to its studio-based predecessors, Earthbound does contain some inspirational performances.  Fripp's solo in 21CSM is among his best of the period and the incomparable roar of Collin's sax work on Groon is nothing short of rapturous.  Indeed, the cathartic nature of Groon is further evidenced by Wallace's ferocious drum solo which twists and turns like an injured animal.  The track closes in an astonishing and blistering display of barely controlled feedback, as though Fripp was somehow attempting to close the lid on this particular Pandora's box of sonic terror.  

In the years after its release, Fripp actively lobbied to have the album deleted, which suggests he regarded Earthbound as a lapse of judgement.  Arguably one of the first official bootlegs, over the years fans lobbied for its re-release. 
Fripp wryly observed: "Once anything is released it never goes away. And if it does, it will return." In 2002, as part of the 30th Anniversary series, it finally made it onto compact disc.

All sixteen gigs on the final Earthbound tour are available to download either as a bundle for $66.00 FLAC or as individual gigs.

So, how do you feel about Earthbound -  something to treasure or something best left well alone? Share your thoughts over on the guestbook.

When Crimson Worlds Collide
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jun 8, 2014
Tony Levin's updated web diary documents the moment when the back line met up with the triple drumming front line. 

OCG's Coda
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jun 8, 2014
Here's a video of the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists VIII performing a KC toe-tapper, Coda Marine 475. 

Happy Birthday Jakko
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jun 8, 2014
Jakko Jakszyk celebrates his birthday today. Sometimes finding the right birthday gift for a person can be difficult but judging by Jakko's comment on twitter this morning, there's no such worries today: @JakkoJ If you asked me as a teen what my p'fect B'day would be? Attending a King Crimson rehearsal. Guess what I do today?

Meet The Savage Seven
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jun 7, 2014
Robert has just updated his Facebook page with the following picture and caption: And this is the band that has just played Schizoid Man as their first rehearsal outing...

Three drummers...

and one of two guitarists...

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